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Pedestrian Deaths in the U.S. Keep Rising

Photo:  Getty Images (Getty Images)
Photo: Getty Images (Getty Images)

It’s dangerous, in America, to be a pedestrian, with cars getting bigger and heavier and taller and you still staying the same old killable sack of blood and bones. The Governors Highway Safety Association — a nonprofit “representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico” — said Tuesday that pedestrian deaths on the roads increased in the first half of 2022, to 3,434 pedestrians killed by drivers in that time, up 168 from the same time in 2021. This is not good.

But don’t take my word for it. The GHSA calls it “deeply troubling” and says that the rise follows what was a 40-year high for pedestrian deaths in 2021. The numbers are bad.

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GHSA’s annual Spotlight on Highway Safety report offers the first look at state and national trends in 2022 pedestrian traffic deaths based on preliminary data provided by State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs). The data analysis found that the recent increase in pedestrian deaths is even more alarming when looking back to 2019, the last pre-pandemic year. Pedestrian deaths have surged 18%, or 519 additional lives lost, between the first half of 2019 and 2022. Nationally, there were 1.04 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people in 2022, up significantly from 0.90 in 2019.